Next Gen Product Design Stories: AR & Exoskeletons Take Over
Written By: Cat McClintock

What's new in product development this week? Experts predict huge opportunities in AR and robot suits. Plus, a new book lays out some essentials of parametric modeling.

Augmented reality, what a concept

Ancient Robin Williams’ joke aside, Ori Inbar, co-founder and CEO of is bullish on the future of augmented reality (AR). He predicts that at “some point in the near future, AR sales will surpass those of smartphones.”

During his keynote address at Sensors Expo 2017, Inbar said it won’t be easy (remember, it took the smart phone 10 years to gain the speed they’re at today) but he predicts AR will take off in the next 7 years. Watch the keynote here.

Meanwhile, manufacturers are exploring the benefits that AR can bring to an industrial environment, and according to a piece in, “we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what augmented reality can do for manufacturing.”

We’re with Inbar — bring it on.

Wearable robot suits

How do you complement AR or take it to the next level? Exosuits or “wearable powered or unpowered robotic suits—metal frameworks fitted with motorized muscles to multiply the wearer’s strength. These suits (that start at a steep $80K for some) might change the manufacturing industry, quicker than AR.

According to ABI Research, the market for commercial/industrial exoskeletons currently exceeds 2.6 million units, with those featuring technologies that support standing and squatting the most common. This figure dwarfs the total number of exoskeleton units that shipped in 2016 and the 107,000 units expected to come to market in 2025.

 SRI robo-suit

SRI International’s human musculoskeletal system can enhance human performance, reduce injury risk, and increase the weight of equipment that soldiers could carry.


Old tech meets new tech: A new Creo book

Older tech (they’re called books – ask your grandparents) is helping newer tech (CAD) by walking readers through the basics of CAD. And we couldn’t be more delighted.

Author, David Martin, spent more than a decade as an instructor with PTC and today works as an aerospace engineer. Recently, he dropped a new book on Amazon that explains some of the fundamental concepts of parametric modeling.

The book (don’t worry, it’s a Kindle edition so you won’t have to lug around a huge tome) explains the core concept of design intent, the driving philosophy behind the design of part and assembly models. By understanding design intent, you will be able to build models that are truly parametric, robust, and flexible, according to the Amazon introduction.

The book promises more experience, less frustration and higher confidence and proficiency as a user. Go check it out here.


 Design Intent book

Read this to better understand how to think about design in Creo Parametric to make the right choices.


The Future of Design

With technology always changing, it can be difficult to know where product development is going next. Download PTC’s“10 Expert Insights: The Future of Product Design in the Age of Smart & Connected Devices.” Learn from industry leaders as they predict how you will be designing products in the near future to help you stay ahead in our rapidly changing industry. 


Tags: Augmented Reality CAD
About the Author Cat McClintock

Cat McClintock edits the Creo and Mathcad blogs for PTC.  She has been a writer and editor for 15+ years,  working for CAD, PDM, ERP, and CRM software companies. Prior to that, she edited science journals for an academic publisher and aligned optical assemblies for a medical device manufacturer. She holds degrees in Technical Journalism, Classics, and Electro-Optics. She loves talking to PTC customers and learning about the interesting work they're doing and the innovative ways they use the software.